Kate O'Connell

Vocal tuition for health, wellbeing, confidence and performance technique


Community Choir Leadership

A three-weekend training course
with Bill Henderson & Kate O’Connell

22/23/24 September + 20/21/22 October + 17/18/19 November
Each weekend runs from 6 pm Friday evening to 3 pm Sunday afternoon
Newbold House, Forres, Moray, Scotland

Cost: Total for all three weekends £750
Early Bird price of £700 if full payment is made by 30 April
(Some bursaries may also be available)

A course of three weekends in Autumn 2017, led by two of Scotland’s most experienced community choir leaders; designed to give you the tools and skills needed to develop yourself as a community choir leader or to bring more singing into your work.

Topics explored will include:
— Developing one's natural voice
— Principles of natural voice singing
— How to teach a song
— Structuring of a singing session
— Group management
— Repertoire
— Musical technique and rhythm
— Singing for Health, Well-being & social transformation
— Improvisation & creating your own song

The course is held in the beautiful setting of Newbold House, a workshop and retreat centre closely linked to the nearby Findhorn Foundation. Participants can relax in the nurturing atmosphere of this magnificent house and its wonderful gardens.

This is non-residential and includes all tuition, dinners on Friday and Saturday, lunches on Saturday and Sunday, and daytime refreshments. B&B is available at Newbold House or elsewhere at additional cost.

Previous participants, many of whom have felt qualified to go ahead and lead groups, have said:

“Kate and Bill worked beautifully together.”
Anne, Netherlands

“Empowering, enlightening, inspiring.”
Francisco, Portugal

“A very nurturing and joyful experience.”
Irene, Glasgow

“This course was a perfect balance of skills development, practical experience and fun.”
Emma, Yorkshire

The venue
Newbold House has been a centre for holistic education for over 30 years with a a beautiful environment, friendly personalised service and the perfect facilities to facilitate transformational experiences. Lunches and suppers are provided, All food is vegetarian and organic where possible, with veggies from the garden when available; all lovingly prepared. Special diets are catered for.

Travel and the surrounding area
Set in the North East of Scotland, access to Forres is surprisingly easy with flights to Inverness and Aberdeen, a main line train service to Inverness and Aberdeen with local rail connections from both. Road access is also very straightforward. Forres is on the wonderful Moray Firth with the magnificent Cairngorm mountains very close by. Beyond Inverness the Scottish Highlands beckon.

Bill and Kate

Bill and Kate have worked together for nearly 25 years and have different but complementary styles and skills catering for men’s and women’s voices equally. They will offer participants a very rich picture of the mechanics of running a group.
Their long standing connection with the celebrated Findhorn Foundation gives them a particular set of skills in holding groups. This, and the location of the course near Findhorn gives participants on this training course unique opportunities not available elsewhere.
Between them they have a vast repertoire of inspirational acappella songs from around the world.

Bill has led community music groups for over 25 years. His passion is to help people believe that they can achieve more than they thought possible.
He currently leads the Forres Big Choir, Sea Shanty workshops and co-leads Sounds Deep Men’s choir and Bukhari Georgian choir. He runs the Singing Holiday week on Eigg (with Kate from 2006 until 2014) as well as song workshops throughout Scotland. An accomplished instrumentalist, he also leads 'scratch' orchestra events and workshops. Music work has taken him to South America on several occasions.
Bill brings a very rich and diverse breadth of musical knowledge and experience to his teaching. A lively sense of humour and fun is always present even when working singers hard!
›  www.billsmusic.co.uk

Kate has been based in the Moray Firth area for over 30 years, working as a community artist. She created performance group Too Many Kooks, and for 11 years co-led, with Bill, the highly successful Forres Big Choir.
She currently has a regular Singing for Peace group which she set up in response to the Paris bombings and in 2016 she set up The Black Isles’ new community choir 'Highland Harmony' and also 'Singing for Health' with Parkinson's sufferers in Inverness. She also sees individual clients and pays particular attention to the healingnature of voice work and singing.
Kate is an inspiring leader with an easy relaxed style. She specialises in vocal improvisation and songs with uplifting messages for these times in which we live.
›  www.katesvoices.co.uk

Info / Booking

For more information and to book a place:
›  Info sheet 1 (PDF)
›  Info sheet 2 (PDF)
›  Booking form

or email:
›  billhendersonmusic@gmail.com
›  katesvoices@gmail.com

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